After reading the story in last week's paper about the Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau wanting to extend their arrangement with the county to collect funds to promote tourism. I must say I'm surprised that Dave Wolin (co-chair of the Oakhurst Area Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Committee) voiced opposition to the Tourism Business Improvement District and told supervisors he did not feel the bureau has done a good job the past 15 years.
I personally rely on the Visitors Bureau for many things.
As the manager of a smaller hotel in town, I am thankful for the things they do for our guests and our establishments. In the last six months alone, they represented our hotel at four large consumer travel shows and two tour operator shows. I was not able to attend all of these shows and as a result of their participation in these shows (and by taking advantage of the leads they provided me) we have booked both leisure travelers and bus tours as a direct result of those shows.
We may not have had the chance to make contact with these leads had YSVB not been there when I wasn't. We thank them for that.
There are many other ways that the visitors bureau helps us, like keeping a community calendar, daily updates on current road conditions and area activities, lodging availability, administrative support and more. They provide a central hub for anything tourism and as a 'lodging partner," I can't imagine not having them to turn to when we need information.
They have also provided me with advertising opportunities that I would not otherwise have been aware of, again capturing the bookings we may have missed.
They have created and maintained local events that attract thousands of travelers to our area throughout the year.
I also feel that the services they offer the traveler are amazing. Our guests have commented on how friendly and helpful their staff was when they visited the visitor center and said YSVB provided exactly the information they were looking for. They provide anything and everything a traveler would want including our brochure cards.
I feel that the Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau is an asset to our travel industry and it would be a shame for lodging partners and travelers to lose the valuable resources the bureau offers.
Lanie Suderman, general manager, Oakhurst Lodge